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Jakub and Dawid with their marriage certificate
Jakub and Dawid with their marriage certificate
Paweł Kosminski

WARSAW — Jakub Kwiecins and Dawid had been together for nearly seven years, living rather anonymous lives as a couple in Warsaw until their 15 minutes of Internet fame arrived last July after posting their own version of Roxette's hit ""Some Other Summer"".

And while the exuberant clip prompted articles in the international LGBTQ media, in their native Poland, it generated mainly hate. "Maybe I was being naive, but we did not expect that at all," says Kwiecins, who prefers to just use his first name. "The most painful is that we live among such people. I think that we both became less patriotic."

But in an ironic twist, thanks to the wave of hate aimed at them last summer in Poland, the couple will now be able to get married — in Portugal. With gay marriage banned in Poland, and Polish authorities refusal to grant the documents necessary to tie the knot in Portugal, the local government on the Portuguese island of Madeira agreed to officiate the wedding without the proper paperwork after having seen the onslaught of homophobia the couple faced in their native country.

Not surprisingly, the marriage certificate won't mean much in the eyes of the Polish government — a reminder that the distances separating Europe are vast indeed.

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Economy

Europe's Winter Energy Crisis Has Already Begun

in the face of Russia's stranglehold over supplies, the European Commission has proposed support packages and price caps. But across Europe, fears about the cost of living are spreading – and with it, doubts about support for Ukraine.

Protesters on Thursday in the German state of Thuringia carried Russian flags and signs: 'First our country! Life must be affordable.'

Martin Schutt/dpa via ZUMA
Stefanie Bolzen, Philipp Fritz, Virginia Kirst, Martina Meister, Mandoline Rutkowski, Stefan Schocher, Claus, Christian Malzahn and Nikolaus Doll

-Analysis-

In her State of the Union address on September 14, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, issued an urgent appeal for solidarity between EU member states in tackling the energy crisis, and towards Ukraine. Von der Leyen need only look out her window to see that tensions are growing in capital cities across Europe due to the sharp rise in energy prices.

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In the Czech Republic, people are already taking to the streets, while opposition politicians elsewhere are looking to score points — and some countries' support for Ukraine may start to buckle.

With winter approaching, Europe is facing a true test of both its mettle, and imagination.

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